The effects of the dismissal of the advice that a charge of rape be brought against Police Commissioner Henry Greene continue to ripple throughout the country and even beyond its borders. It seems no right thinking person can come to terms with this untenable situation. Yet, while the prosecution and dismissal of Greene seems so clear-cut to the rest of the world, Guyana’s Attorney General (AG) does not seem to grasp it.
I am sure it was thought that when the advice to charge was dismissed, this gross injustice would probably raise ire with certain women’s groups and then the matter would just flitter away into the ether. That is what typically happens. However, this case signified the epitome of all the injustices meted out to Guyana’s women and could not therefore be swept under the rug so easily.
In fact, this case seems to have awakened a sleeping giant. Left with the incredulous realisation that Greene could walk away from such serious charges and might even resume his duties as Police Commissioner, the women are outraged and they are not letting up.
I have lost count of how many women, including women in the government, in the legal profession and even in other Caribbean countries have spoke out against the Chief Justice’s (CJ) decision in this matter.
Yes, the usual women’s groups have voiced their disgust at this blatant betrayal of Guyana’s women by the justice system, but there are many, many others as well. In fact, I do not think it is possible to put the cap back on this genie. It is out of the bottle and it is ready to fight.
In the US, justice seemed to finally triumph when the world found out on Wednesday that the man responsible for young Trayvon Martin’s death would in fact be charged for that meaningless murder.
Yet, back in Guyana on the same day, justice found no such triumph as women were diminished yet again when a government representative in the form of the AG told the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) not to appeal the questionable High Court decision. What?!?
It truly feels like we are Alice in Wonderland and all we can do is shake our heads in wonder and amazement at the ridiculousness of it all.
There have been numerous credible analyses on why the High Court’s decision was errant and deficient. There have also been calls from women all across the nation for justice. Yet still, on top of all of this and more, the government now steps into this mess and affirms the Chief Justice’s decision?
With so many men circling to protect Henry Greene, you would think he was the president of Guyana. One cannot help but wonder what makes Greene—a man who has previously been accused of sexual misconduct—so special to deserve all of this shielding, especially at the expense of the nation’s women. And let there be no doubt, the women of Guyana will pay a hefty price.
I am not pronouncing on Greene’s innocence or guilt. However, one thing is quite obvious—this case should have gone to trial and a jury should have decided Greene’s fate. According to a Stabroek News article, Trinidad Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal noted that Chief Justice Ian Chang had conducted a detailed analysis of the statements of the complainant and Commissioner Greene and she described this as “more in the line of a defence counsel’s closing address,” after which he stated that the prosecution had no reasonable prospect of success. I got the same exact impression.
What a mockery of justice!
Will women now be subject to the further degradation of seeing Greene placed back in his position as Police Commissioner? Must women be required to turn to Greene for justice? Again, what a mockery!
Worse still, will these injustices be put upon women by their own government? How much longer will the women suffer? If it is up to the women, not much longer.
I get so excited when I see women come together and unite for a cause. I was happy to join Red Thread as it protested in front of Parliament against the CJ’s decision on the Greene case. I am glad to see the Women’s Miners Association protesting the fact that their land is being taken from them. These are such exciting times. The women have awakened! But there is more going on than just the protests.
Everywhere I go I hear the undercurrent of revolt in the conversations of women. “We won’t take it any more!” The women are done being the scapegoats for political games. “We won’t be treated like dirt!” The women are banding together. They are uniting. “It is time for things to change!” They are ready to make some permanent changes–-regardless of whether some men like it or not. “They will hear our voices!”
There can be no doubt about it, the subtle stirrings of the past few years were unleashed when the CJ decided to let Greene walk free. Take the time to listen to the conversations of women around you. Don’t talk, just listen. They are not waiting for men to do right by them any more. Why should they when it is obvious that these men have no intention of doing right by the women? They just want to play their games.
If the men will not look out for the well-being of the nation’s women, it is then compulsory that the women do it. The future of our daughters is at stake. The future of the human race is at stake. Let the men play their games while the women take their rightful places in society.
At this point, I do not know if the DPP has the courage to take this case to the Caribbean Court of Justice. For the good of the women, I hope and I pray that she does. If the male leaders of Guyana are too busy playing political games to ensure justice for women, then perhaps it is time to let others protect Guyana’s women.